People don't want to be different

Be different: dare to do it!

Be differentHaving different interests and different views takes courage. Because in doing so you deviate from the norm and attract attention. This carries the risk of rejection and here lies the problem: Man is a social being. We want to belong, part of society, part of the club, part of a clique of people that we think are great. At the same time, we strive for self-realization and recognition for what we achieve. How can that be reconciled?

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What does be different mean?

Being different can mean so many things. At the word level it means first of all that a person is himself from the crowd stands out in some way.

Synonyms for being different are:

  • alternatively
  • different
  • deviant
  • strange
  • non-conforming
  • contrary
  • unlike
  • differently
  • different

Some of these synonyms have a content-related focus that is more positive or negative. For example, “deviant” is used in social contexts for criminal behavior used. In this respect, being criminal means “deviating from the norm” as well as being different.

Being different on a content level can mean someone represents other interests, has a different taste in music or film than the majority of his immediate surroundings.

Depending on how this environment comprehends the otherness, the effects can have more or less severe consequences for those who deviate.

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Society makes it difficult to be different

Being different can affect religion and origin, mental and physical health or sexuality. All areas in which strong beliefs rule in a society.

The greatest common denominator comes together in a society. That doesn't mean that all people are the same. It is said that the majority is ready to accept certain rules and over common values ​​and norms linked is.

Seen in this way, it is completely normal and healthy to want to belong. To be different has the potential to be very different. Anyone who fears this being different strives accordingly be equal at. But what does it mean to be the same as everyone else?

Terms are associated with equality such as:

  • equality
  • unity
  • To be identical
  • conformity
  • accordance

However, also:

  • Conformity
  • Equality
  • Streamlining
  • Inconspicuousness
  • uniformity

Is someone uniform or Adjusted beyond recognition it means that this person is replaceable - there are countless others of them. Nothing special, original or even original is attached to it.

Proponents of otherness like to choose this Image of flock of sheeptrotting tumb one behind the other to describe equality. It must be said very clearly: Breaking out of this system of rules and values ​​is not so easy.

It is particularly difficult for children to be different. They are already calibrated at home and at school to behave as they are expected to do. Deviant behavior, for example with hyperactive children, is condemned.

Just as they are marginalized if they don't wear the “right” branded clothes. To be different is not always a conscious decision, but in some cases due to certain circumstances.

To be different from others: individualism as an antipole

Nobody wants to see themselves as a (stupid) sheep, which is why individualism has been celebrated in the past decades. However, it is prescribed individualism ultimately nothing more than uniformity. In the endeavor to be as different as possible, everyone is then again the same.

A legendary movie scene from the Monty Phython comedy "The Life of Brian" (Life of Brian) illustrates exactly that: The main character Brian is mistaken for the Messiah.

Brian tries to make it clear in a speech to his fans that he thinks of the Cult for his person nothing holds and people should rather believe in themselves that after all they are all individuals.

And the whole crowd chatters happily: "We are all individuals ..." Only one person confesses to being different - and immediately becomes silenced.

Be different from others: sayings and quotes

  • Be yourself, there is already everyone else.Oscar Wilde
  • Anders: Not even better.Ambrose Gwinnett Bierce
  • Never follow the crowd just because you're scared of being different.Margaret Thatcher
  • If you're lucky enough to be different from everyone else, don't change it.Unknown
  • Forgive the other for being different, that is the beginning of wisdom.Chinese wisdom
  • Everyone wants to be individual, but woe betide anyone who is different.Unknown
  • I am different than expected. Rarely as expected. And certainly not as others would like me to be.Unknown
  • Those who think differently don't think differently either.Erhard Horst Bellermann
  • He was a thorn in their side: he sang morning songs in the evening.Wolfgang J. Reus

Be different and still be confident

In addition to the desire to belong, there is a very big one Need for acceptanceto be allowed to be who one is - to be allowed to be different and still be part of society. Being different is always only a certain amount of being different.

Those in the geek class that others look at with great envy may still love the same TV series. It is often not easy to be accepted with one's otherness when against them prevailing opinion is violated.

In a performance society like the German one, those who do not bow to the creed of productivity at all costs stand out. Underperformers, but also the unemployed or people with burnout.

Often it is not questioned why these people are different, they are simply given a stamp and put in a drawer. For this To get out of the value systemis not always easy.

But there are these examples of people who, for example despite successful training change jobs at the age of 30, 40, 50.

To be different means to be different from that Dictation of the crowd and instead look carefully at what conditions you need to be satisfied.

Being different as a success factor

You laugh at me because I am different from you - I laugh at you because you are all the same!

There are some sayings about being different, but this one shows two things: Namely the (possible) consequences that people have to reckon with when they are different, the exclusion and the Pointing the finger through others.

But it also shows something else: the story of an emancipation. The Process of recognitionthat uniformity and equality do not necessarily have to be something worth striving for. A constantly changing world of work requires people who are different.

The same solutions always work for new challenges no more. Being different can mean flexibility and creativity that enable quick reactions.

Because it means not always thinking in the same conventional directions, but rather to try new ways. This includes accepting oneself in one's otherness:

  • Get to know yourself.

    Sounds simple, but at the beginning of the knowledge process there is often uncertainty. Some people realize they are different but question themselves. It is important to deal with your own interests and values, strengths and weaknesses.

  • Accept yourself.

    During an intensive examination of yourself, you can discover traits of character that you do not find ideal, such as great impatience. No one is perfect. It is praiseworthy to know one's weaknesses and to try to improve them. At least as important is self-acceptance, and that includes many great qualities that you can bring out more.

  • Get brave.

    Anyone who understands otherness as uniqueness takes away the threatening. Because in principle every person is unique; Apart from identical twins, each person exists only once in the world. His thinking, feeling, acting does not appear a second time. How about that which fundamentally differentiates you from others in your environment, to take as a starting point and to intensify it? For a number of people, for example, their hobby has become a profession.

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